The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, July 13, 2012

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

MITT ROMNEY ABC News' Matt Negrin and Shushana Walshe: " Did Romney Break the Law?" Questions about Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital have suddenly spiraled into a bigger question that President Obama's campaign is stoking: Did the candidate commit a crime by making false statements on SEC forms? There's no evidence that Romney had a role in business meetings at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he started, in the years after he formally left to run the Olympics. LINK

ABC News' Dana Hughes " Drudge Report Lists Condi Rice as Top Romney VP Candidate" The Drudge Report, the conservative website, reports Thursday night that there is a new frontrunner to be Mitt Romney's running mate: Condoleezza Rice. The Romney campaign has not commented on the report. Drudge has long appeared supportive of the Romney campaign and there are ties between the site's founder, Matt Drudge, and Romney staffers. LINK

USA Today's Jackie Kucinich: " Documents dispute when Mitt Romney left private equity firm" The Obama campaign leveled new charges Thursday that Mitt Romney was misrepresenting his time at Bain Capital, and the Romney camp called into question the integrity of the campaign the president is running. The sharpened rhetoric between the two sides came as the Obama campaign spotlighted reports in Mother Jones and The Boston Globe, based on Securities and Exchange Commission filings and campaign-finance disclosures, that show Romney, the likely GOP nominee, was listed as Bain's CEO and sole owner from 1999 to 2002. Romney has said he stepped away from his duties at the private equity firm during those years and had no involvement in its investment strategy. LINK

The Boston Globe's Callum Borchers: " Romney attacked on Bain exit date " Callum Borchers" President Obama's reelection campaign Thursday accused Mitt Romney of lying - and perhaps of breaking federal law - after the Globe reported that government documents listed him as in charge of the private equity firm he founded, Bain Capital, three years longer than he has previously stated. LINK

Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer and Jonathan D. Salant: " Bain Says Romney Kept Ownership After Leaving in 1999" Mitt Romney is named as one of two managing members of Bain Capital Investors LLC in annual reports filed in Massachusetts as late as 2002, adding a new corporate entity to a growing number of Bain-related investments and funds that list the Republican presidential candidate as controlling the company three years after he said he left it. LINK

Politico's Ginger Gibson: " Bain barrage worries Republicans" On the facts, nothing terribly new was added to the Bain equation by the Boston Globe story charging that Mitt Romney controlled the company for three years longer than he previously claimed. Several fact-checking organizations said the charges aren't exactly breaking news and Romney's denials have some validity. LINK The Washington Post's Philip Rucker: " Mitt Romney faces new round of calls to release tax returns" Six months after Mitt Romney's reluctance to release his tax returns tripped him up in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, the now-presumptive nominee is once again grappling with whether to disclose more information about his personal finances amid mounting pressure from his opponents. LINK

The Hills' Alexander Bolton: " Romney should pick veep soon, says GOP" Republican senators say it would be smart for Mitt Romney to announce his vice presidential selection soon, weeks before the party convention in Tampa, Fla. They say it would give Romney a week of favorable press coverage - and help him raise more money - when Democrats are organizing coordinated attacks against his campaign. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Maeve Reston: " Dick Cheney hosts fundraiser for Romney" On the campaign trail over the last year, there are two names that Mitt Romney almost never mentions: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. That approach got tricky on Thursday as Romney brought his campaign to Cheney's home near Jackson Hole, where the former Massachusetts governor mingled with deep-pocketed donors at a country club with views of the towering Grand Tetons in the distance. LINK

The New York Daily News' Brian Browdie: " Mitt Romney's wealth makes 20% of voters less likely to vote for him: poll" Mitt Romney has money, but it may not buy him love. One in five voters say the presumptive GOP nominee's more than $200 million net worth makes them less likely to vote for him, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. LINK

The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Campaigns trade charges of lying; Romney camp seeks apology" President Obama's campaign said Wednesday that Mitt Romney either lied to voters or to federal regulators about how long he ran his company, while the GOP candidate's team said the "felony" accusation was so over-the-top that the president should apologize for his aides' behavior; voters were left to sort it all out. The dust-up over Mr. Romney's time at private equity firm Bain Capital underscored the growing realization that his business ties will come under scrutiny for the rest of the campaign - a theme the former Massachusetts governor's rivals started in the Republican primary. LINK

2012 RACE The New York Times' Peter Baker: " Candidates Racing for Future, Gaze Fixed Firmly on the Past" President Obama's re-election slogan is "Forward." But the campaigns he and Mitt Romney are waging these days might be more accurately described as "Backward." At a time when the country faces an uncertain future economically and internationally, the conversation in the capital and on the campaign trail has dwelled largely on the past as the two contenders for the White House and their allies spend their time and energy relitigating old fights rather than focusing on new ideas for the next four years. LINK

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